Resin Canal Position in the Needles of Balsam, Alpine and Fraser Firs

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High variability of tissue elements is indicated in needles of Abies balsamea (L.) Mill., A. lasiocarpa (Hook.) Nutt. and A. fraseri (Pursh) Poir. during their development from juvenile to adult ages. Consequently, care must be taken in using resin canal position as a taxonomic character for identifying these species. The development stage of the tree, the location in the crown, and age of needle selected must be specified. There are highly significant differences between the positions of resin canals in needles of juveniles and adult trees, but no significant differences between those in needles from adult trees of the three species. Neither latitude nor elevation affect the positioning of resin canals in the needle tissue. It may be concluded that: (1) Change of resin canal position is not affected by the gradually changing microclimate from the top to the base of the crowns. (2) Change of needle tissues follows periods of aging of needle and tree. The differentiation of tissues is under specific genetic control, and ecological factors do not in an essential way affect the new establishment of tissue elements during the initial stage of needle development.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Research Scientist, Dept. of Forestry, Canada; Winnipeg, Manitoba

Publication date: September 1, 1966

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